June 28th, 2008
11:52 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain speech disrupted by several hecklers



Sen. John McCain's speech to a Latino group Saturday was interrupted by hecklers. Photo credit: AP.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain has been taking most weekends off since effectively securing the Republican nomination, but the Arizona senator has a busy weekend, including a speech to a Latino conference where he was heckled several times.

McCain spent the morning speaking at the annual conference of NALEO, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the event after McCain.

Three hecklers from the anti-war group, Code Pink, disrupted McCain's speech at separate times and were later escorted from the room.

According to the group, Phoenix resident Liz Hourican, holding a camera aimed at the candidate, stood up when McCain said "I represent Arizona..."

Watch: McCain gets heckled

"John you do represent Arizona! And we want a peace candidate!," she yelled. "We want a peace candidate! Peace takes courage!"

McCain, laughing off the disruption, joked, "that's a long trip out," adding: "I'm sure you've seen the polls out now about trust and confidence in our government, and the one thing the American people want us to stop doing is yelling at each other."

Five minutes later, two more female protesters jumped up, yelling loudly.

"Your silence is consent to war crimes! War criminal!" one said. Another heckler carried a pink banner that read "McCain=Guerra" — or "McCain=War."

McCain, however, was met with a standing ovation by the audience at the end.

"Thank you very much," he said. "It makes me feel very wonderful to have such a wonderful reception."

NALEO expressed apologies to McCain just before the Obama speech. "The individuals were not NALEO members, they are not part of this constituency, and they do not reflect our values of engaging in dialogue and conversation with the next president of the United States."

Though much of McCain's speech focuses on the issues he has been pushing throughout the week - energy solutions and the lagging economy - McCain also touched on key issues among Latinos.

The senator paid his respects to "the contributions of Hispanic-Americans to the culture, economy and security of the country I have served all my adult life." He also emphasized that immigration reform begins with securing the United States border with Mexico.

"We must prove to [Americans] that we can and will secure our borders first, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States," he's said, adding: "We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them."

Before the NALEO conference, McCain met briefly with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani in Washington. Later in the day, he is scheduled to meet with the president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo. He then flies to Louisville, Kentucky this afternoon, where he will hold two fundraisers.

On Sunday, McCain will meet privately with evangelist Franklin Graham in Asheville, North Carolina.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. Karen

    I watched both men–McCain & Obama. No comparison. Obama won hands down. I am an Obama supporter even though I am a republican from AZ! McCain is tooooo old and he talks like an old man. No energy and he was booed. A lot of us AZ residents do not like McCain. He has done nothing for us. NO "pork" and we sent him to Washington to get us a little "pork"! He's old and very sad when he talks. Almost like he need to sit down or take a nap. I'm also 64 and ready to retire. I DO NOT want anyone any older than I am trying to take care of me. There comes a time in life when we turn things over to our children. This was God's plan and why does McCain think he can fight that. Obama was more detailed in his answers and his web site is soooo much more detailed.

    June 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. ademola

    The world leaders (most especially western leaders) need to turn a new chapter in our history and politics. They should pursue a bettter way of life and support for the HAVE NOT............above all pursue a peaceful resolution of world conflicts not war, war ,war that has been the hallmark of western leaders. A stronger america economy = a bettter world economy. VOTE for change we all can believe in.........yes we can, we must for the betterness of all concerns and generation unborn.

    June 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Lisa

    John McWar and President Bush, we want our troops home!!! The war in Iraq is already lost. We lost the war with our economy and still hurting from it. This was President Bush war and the American people will not forgive him for that. I just want the world to know we did not believe in this war, it was just wrong. I hope you will forgive us, we had no control over President Bush decision. He was more like a dictator than a President.

    June 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Lyz in MD

    Now, let's try to see it from McCain's perspective. He has so few supporters, he can't afford to screen people as carefully as he would have liked if he wants it to look like he has any support at all. So a few representatives of the majority slipped through. What about all the people there who weren't smart enough to know that McCain would continue Bush's disastrous policy until we have no military left at all?

    It's so like the liberal media to focus on the few intelligent people who got into the McCain rally instead of the 20 or 30 brain-damaged cranks that he did muster.

    June 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. jim simpson

    The original story contained the following paragraph:' During the question and answer session, Mccain was asked if immigration reform would be one of his priorities in the White House.He responded"It will be my top priority- yesterday, today and tomorrow"

    I believe that answer is more pertinent than some screwball protesters

    June 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Cathy in MD

    The picture of McCain on the CNN Politics homepage has got to be a joke. McCain’s head is blocking out the A, L and E in NALEO, leaving only the letters N and O to either side of him. Pretty funny, after he referred to Obama as “Dr. No.” What goes around, comes around.

    June 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Greg from Big Island

    That happens. People can voice their opinion,but rudely. They probably will do the same to Obama, but not as much. Obama is not very popular with Hispanic, but will win a majority of them 60-40.

    June 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Cindy,CA

    Sounds like what happened to Hillary will now be happening to McCain. He will not have as much money to campaign as Obama will. We know how that worked out. I am sick and tired of the constant rudeness...

    June 28, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Brooke

    No matter what the point there is no need for heckling anyone even those we disagree the most with. But, of course, this is a sign of things to come with Obama and his legion of followers... they will drown out freedom of speech and the right to disagree.

    June 28, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Donovan

    The hecklers couldn't be more right! I don't care how bad the Clinton-cultists and other pseudo-liberals hate Obama, McCain will be the death of this country. The right-wing nutjobs have been in power for far too long and have virtually DESTROYED our constitution and government. Yeah ... promote free trade to the auto unions some more ... tell them they have to re-train or become jobless because the ultra-rich just sold your job to China for slave-labor prices ... just to make themselves MORE rich. Yeah ... do that more McCain ...

    landslide in '08

    June 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. clive

    John Mccain is too old and too detached from reality to be president... This moron is still fighting the Vietnam War and will apply the same outdated foreign policy principles that didn't work then to todays foreign policy.... Let me give you some advice old man river; we need fresh ideas to solve todays problems..... Let me tell you something mr ( I was a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution ) If you love America as much as you say you do – do us all a favor, move back to Arizona sit in your rocking chair and keep your big mouth shut.

    June 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. randy

    This is just the start wait till republican convention that will be all out fiasco.

    June 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Joe the Troll

    I hate to see this type of boorish behavior anywhere, but then I think of the way this happened repeatedly to Kerry in 2004. I also remember that in that same election, no one who disagreed with Bush or Cheney could get within a mile of where they were speaking. Perhaps McCain should start making people sign loyalty oaths as they walk in, like the person he wants to replace.

    So, while I can't defend this behavior, I also can't see the Republicans as having any room to complain.

    June 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Rob indetroit

    John Mccain needs another veitnam , He see's the middle East as a way of getting something back he lost , like maybe his sanity. Sean hannity is a Racist.

    June 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. McSameMcCain on myspace

    What? John is actually doing something besides "resting his old self" on the weekend?

    His response to dissent it typical "it's a long walk out" is the same BS that this person has used as a congressman. He thinks he is better than anyone who disagrees with him. He is an old man, he is pro war and will work to kill more of our real heroes. Just because he was unable to fly a plane and avoid being shot down does not make him a hero now or then.

    Give it up John, you couldn't even beat W.

    And quit working on the weekends or you won't have the energy to make it to November.

    June 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. faye, NV

    McCain is pulling at straws and not a man of change.

    June 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. randy

    Republicans get ready it will be a. Very hot summer may the last man survive.

    June 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. William, from Cali!

    I for one, as an American citizen; I'm sick of, all the pandering;of both candidate's; to Latinos in this country and Mexico, over immigration in this Nation.When will somebody, have the "Balls, to protect America"; and enforce "Our" laws, on the books; against such invasion, that has gone on for too long.That would be real, Leadership and Change; both that this Nation is lacking; at this time, Our "policies" toward Mexico is a "Joke"; its a "third world country".....................................Get real!!!!!!!! America, is not "for sale"; merely for votes? Is she?

    June 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. david


    June 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. michaelinphilly

    McCain is a living corpse and a disgrace. He is a third Bush term and no longer a maverick.

    June 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. McSameMcCain on myspace

    For the record, John, you'd make a lousy president as well. And I have a picture of you on my myspace account that shows you hugging up on W like you are sweethearts so what is up with you dissing Carter. You are a lousy human being, and the way you treated your first wife is typical of your low morals.

    June 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. A nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    The problem with those idiots and others of the same ilk is that they never ask the question what would happen if we departed?

    We need a public discussion on what may happen if we leave Iraq, covering all the advantages and disadvantages.

    If we would have had this, maybe bush and the neo's wouldn't have invaded. But we are there and we need a national discourse of some of our bright people.

    Colin Powell said it's like the guy in the china closet dropping a cup. If you break it, you buy it.

    So let's get Powell, some others and Shinsecki and try to find an intelligent, honorable way out of this mess. I think McCain can do that and I don't think the empty suit can.

    June 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Belle2

    And Obama's rude and hateful supporters start again. If he cannot calm them down and make them more respectful of others and their opinions, the American people need to think long and hard about why he is not willing to stop the hatred and animosity. Maybe he inspires this hatred and animosity on purpose.

    June 28, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. PDR

    It gets very tiresome to hear McCain's constant droning on and on.. and peoples accolades about his service to the U.S. yes he was a soldier, yes he was imprisoned but that DOES not make him a President. He is a war monger and with his unstable mind, lack of proper hearing(he is a deaf as a post) he needs to stay put on the Senate floor.. preferably taking a nap.

    June 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. MD

    McCane is out of touch with the reality of Americans' emotion about the Iraq war.

    Even if those hecklers were not members of the NALEO, they were citizens expressing their views. To remove them from the room equates to curtailing their First Amendment rights.

    June 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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